An 18-year-old Rhode Island man pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges that he flew to Southern California to have sex with a 12-year-old Palmdale girl, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Joel Rivera entered his plea to one count each of meeting minor for lewd purposes, distributing or showing pornography to a minor and contact with minor for sexual purposes.
Rivera began contacting the Palmdale girl through an anonymous webcam chatting app in August, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami said.
Rivera exchanged sexually explicit images with the child for nearly a month through various messaging apps, the prosecutor said.
When the girl’s mother became aware that Rivera planned to fly in from Rhode Island to have sex with the victim, the mother contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the prosecutor added.
Rivera was arrested at Burbank Bob Hope Airport on Sept. 3.
He will be sentenced April 15 in Department A16 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau.
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